Easy DIY Otter Magnet

Crafting with kids is a great way to pass the time and exercise your creative muscles. Being a crafty mom, I enjoy spending time with my kids this way, and I enjoy it, even more, when I get the chance to create along with them. So here is an easy DIY that you can do along with your kids with nothing more than a little bit of oven baked clay, a toothpick, a hot glue gun and a magnet.

To make this project I used brown, black, white and blue clay.

First I took some brown clay and divided it into two portions. In the larger portion, I added some black clay to darken it and in the smaller portion, I lightened it with white.

I rolled it together so that it was combined but you could still see the different colours in the clay. I like the realistic effect.

The larger portion is divided into a tear-shaped body, two very small balls for ears and a long snake shape.

The smaller portion is divided into a smaller tear shaped belly, two cheeks, and a head.

Use a toothpick to create a fur texture on the head and body of the otter.

Divide the snake shape into five equal lengths. Shape them into rounded ends and attach as the limbs and tail.

Add two small black eyes and a larger nose.

Now grab some blue clay with a small amount of black and white. Combine but don’t overmix. Flatten into a circle and attach your otter.

Bake according to the directions for your clay. Allow to cool and attach a magnet with a hot glue gun.

 

 

Turn a lamp from basic to beautiful

When it comes to decor, I am obsessed with lighting. I love a great lamp or chandelier, but the best is when you can find a great project to upcycle and turn into something great.

I saw this pink lamp in my favourite second-hand store while I was planning to redo my daughter’s bedroom. While I am not particularly into the sequin look, I thought it was a good opportunity to try a new project to fit into her Parisian floral theme.

I went to my local dollar tree to find some nice blooms to fill the lampshade. I was able to get a large number of blooms for a really great price.

I prepared the stems by trimming them so they lay flat. In some instances, you need to glue a few layers of flower together to keep it together.

Start gluing your flowers to the lampshade. Try not to group the same types of flowers together too closely and make it look random.

Once you have filled in your lampshade, there is nothing to do but enjoy your creation!

Like this project? Why not check out the rest of our DIYs?

Make your own coffee filter flowers

After a long winter, Spring is finally here. If you are anything like me, you want to be surrounded by flowers, even if there is still snow on the ground! Why not make these super sweet flowers from some really inexpensive household items? In fact, you probably already have everything you need.

All you need:

  • Coffee filters
  • food colouring
  • toothpicks
  • glue gun and glue

There are several different ways to dye coffee filters for flowers. I simply added a few drops of dye to water and then submerged some filters to colour them. I left them overnight and then set out to dry. You can also experiment with creating ombre effects which are also really pretty.

Once your filters are dry grab four filters and fold them in half.

and again

For a peony flower, cut out three petal shapes that are about the same size

For a carnation cut three “toes” out of the coffee filter.

And then add a wavy detail

Now poke the toothpick through the center of one filter and apply hot glue to the top third of the toothpick.

Use the filter as a shield to protect your hands and gather the filter into a loose cylinder shape. The petals should be shaped upwards so you don’t see the toothpick. With each layer, the petals will gradually start facing to the side rather than straight up.

 Continue to add filters gradually allowing them to ‘bloom’ farther and farther outwards.  Make sure to glue each layer

Since you already have toothpicks in place, you can easily stick these blooms in craft foam to create wreaths or cute decor!

Love the unicorn in the picture? Check out our free pattern! 

Why having a lazy parent has benefited my kids

Doing less for my kids now will pay off in the future

Most parents find themselves wondering if they are doing enough for their children, but how many question if they are doing too much? After all, our job as parents is to prepare our kids for the future, but are we actually teaching them how to be independent or just becoming their personal slaves?

My husband and I chose to have our kids extremely close together. In the beginning my kid’s ability to be independent was a necessity, but as they grew I realize just how much this skill set has actually benefited my kids. After all, the job of a parent isn’t to do for our children, but rather teach them to do for themselves. Take a look at five ways being a ‘lazy parent’ has helped me raise independent kids.

Dress up-As soon as my kids were able to toddle I encouraged them to dress themselves and rewarded them for doing so. I understand how frustrating it is to watch your  little one struggle to put on a single shoe for five minutes when all you want to do is get out the door, but it will pay off later.

As my children got older, I gave them the freedom to choose their clothing in exchange for them dressing themselves.   They have come up with some questionable outfits, but as long as it is in season and it fits properly, it’s good to go.

Pack up-One of the biggest complaints among parents of school-aged kids is the complete torture of packing lunches. Not only do you have to compete with the Pinterest worthy animal-shaped gluten free lunches posted in the mom groups, but you also have to figure a way to pack a healthy, litter-free, allergen-free lunch your child will actually eat.

You are set up to fail in this scenario.

As soon as my kids were able to eat solids, they started helping me in the kitchen. As soon as my oldest started school, she started making her lunch. She was allowed to choose what went into her lunch as long as there was one veggie or fruit, one treat and a sandwich. Of course I still passively participated in this process, but by making her lunch herself she was far more likely to eat it. #momwin

Clean  up-As a busy mother of three, I see cleaning as less of a chore and more of a necessity. Battling the mess was a daily struggle. I remember I was at a parenting group and we had a guest speaker who spoke about the importance of rest for parents. She encouraged us to clean during the day and make sure to get downtime once we put the kids to bed. As a result from a young age my girls not only watched me clean, they got in on the act. In fact, they would fight over the chance to take a bottle of water and vinegar and wash the cupboards or sweep the floor. As the years progressed, cleaning just became part of our daily routine. Their rooms are expected to stay tidy and they put their own clothes in the laundry room when dirty and in the proper drawers when clean. I know many teenagers who still haven’t mastered this skill.

Make up-The only thing crazier than having three kids under three in our house is the knowledge that one day we will have three teenage daughters living under our roof.

f&*k…

The only way to deal with the tantrums, crying and arguments that are bound to happen in the future, is to take a hands-off approach in the present.  While my kids love to fight, (I have seen some epic blow-outs) unless there are extreme circumstances, I am not getting involved. My kids are learning conflict resolution, tolerance and not to be a tattle tale because I frankly don’t want to spend my day figuring out who took whose toy first.

Sleep up-One of the biggest wins as a parent was finding a punishment that works for my kids and for myself. When my kids misbehave my go-to punishment is almost always the same: early bedtime. This is actually genius because I know that when my kid starts acting out they need extra sleep but they hate the idea of going to bed. This is one punishment that I never feel guilty throwing out and I love following through on. The kid who needs extra sleep gets it and the other kids get more attention for behaving well.

While I may be lazy in my parenting method, I only have my kid’s best interests at heart. If they can grow up to know how to care for themselves, they may even consider moving out one day rather than living in our basement well into their 30’s.

Well, a parent can dream.